For Midbrun 2015 (Israel regional Burning man) I joined a theme camp and decided to build an art installation for it. I built a musical instrument that generates sound through spark igniters. The spark igniters generates each keynote by begin installed in a perspex (PMMA) tube. I bought 3 meters of 60mm perspex pipe and calculated the length required for each pipe’s in order to generates the right sound for each keynote.
I used epoxy resin to glue a bottom for each pipe, after words I sanded it in, drilled 2 holes at exactly 16 mm so the spark igniter wire could go thru and create the best looking noisiest arc for 3.3V.
The base of the pipe was design in Solidworks by Tal Raindel and I and cut using CNC laser – from the same material I used to make the pipes – this way this whole art installation looks “clean”, transparent and you get an interesting depth perception when looking on the spark inside the pipe. We used methylene chloride in order to glue the piped to the base – it worked much better than the epoxy resin and much cleaner.
In a Burning man “style” state of mind I sourced from a local toy store “Hello Kitty” piano keyboard. Each keynote is connected to an Arduino micro-processor that samples the button and keystrokes. each “Hello Kitty” key initiates a MOFSETS that starts the spark igniters. The spark igniter are need 3-5 amperes – which is a lot so as a power source for this hungry monster I used an old PC’s power supply. The is also and ON/OFF button and DEMO buuton on the “Hello Kitty” piano that I used for tuning the Spark2Sound ON and OFF and play a series of notes (Beverly hills cop, Mario brothers..)
With each spark igniter can drain up to 5A in 3.3V and in the Spark2Sound there are 7 and this power support can handle it simultaneously!
The most important thing in this project was robustness and durability of the Spark2Sound, because I prepared it for Midburn I know it going to take A LOT of dust, beer, drunk people using it and other million things I can’t anticipate, I minimize the risk of having my project not working after 2 days I decided to make it very durable – Aerospace standard durable – I used special wires, harness, wax wires, shrinks with glue, strain relief mechanisms, paid close attention to the soldering and more. To my surprise it came out of Mifburn working perfectly… very dusty and dirty but 100% operational. I cleaned it with vacuum cleaner and air pressure hose.
At Midburn at the Shithole camp:
After the Midburn:
Here you can see my friend playing it:
The code for the Spark2Sound instrument can be downloaded from my Github.
Enjoy the video and the build log – the result is hilarious!